Daily Harvest -- 9/9/2013
Here's your daily summary of top news from www.Agri-Pulse.com and other national and regional headlines from across the country. Do you know of someone who should also be on our list? Please ask them to click here.
FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Congress focuses on Syria while farm bill push continues
Link - While lawmakers will largely be focused on Syria this week, agricultural stakeholders will continue the push for congressional approval of a five-year farm bill.
Agri-Pulse: Audio Open Mic with Dr. Edward Knipling, Ret. ARS Administrator
Link - In this week's Open Mic, Knipling shares many of the challenges facing the agency as it remains focused on science-based solutions to some of agriculture's biggest challenges.
Agri-Pulse: Illinois Congressmen talk about farm bill
Link - During the Farm Progress Show in Illinois, Republican Congressmen Rodney Davis and John Shimkus describe plan to pass the nutrition side of the farm bill through the House and express optimism for a full farm bill conference.
Agri-Pulse: Ridge Thoughts
Link - Chuck Fluharty, Founding Director of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), says that a farm bill extension now appears to be the most hopeful outcome. “At times like these, when I am in dire need of both perspective and wisdom, I try to get back to the farm,” he writes in this opinion piece.
National Journal: Once Past Syria Crisis, Farm Bill Looms in Congress
Link - The House debate over whether to authorize President Obama to take action in Syria will overshadow other legislative work this week, but Congress will finish a new farm bill before the end of the year, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., predicted.
The Republic: Kan. senators confident of farm bill resolution
Link - U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts told Kansas agricultural leaders Saturday at the state fair that the food stamp program is the "redline' for Democrats in the passage of the farm bill — and that his is crop insurance.
Washington Post: USDA pilot program fails to stop contaminated meat
Link - A meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach, documents and interviews show.
Wall Street Journal: Why Is One-Sixth of U.S. on Food Stamps?
Link - One of the largest social safety net programs in the United States, food stamps – formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP – expanded substantially during and after the recession, with enrollment rising about 70% from 2007 to 2011.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Hawaii Tribune: Overall GMO ban rejected
Link - The Hawaii County Council took its first bite out of legislation on genetically altered crops Friday, voting down an overall ban but deferring a more limited bill to another day during a lengthy and at times contentious discussion.
Wall Street Journal: Scientists Hope New Rice Will Help Poor Children
Link - The International Rice Research Institute is pushing field trials so that farmers could their sow fields by 2015 with a new rice variety — called golden rice – that could help address Vitamin A deficiency.
Bloomberg: Greek Yogurt Latecomer Danone Eats Chobani's Lunch
Link - The success of Danone’s belated push to slow Chobani’s momentum and narrow its lead in Greek yogurt is a testament to how an established player’s marketing heft can trump a newcomer’s first-mover advantage.
Washington Post: Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman is expanding the company in pursuit of healthier foods
Link - These days his sales pitches are not to moms and dads pushing shopping carts but to the owners of national restaurant chains.
LA Times: Grocery stores adding tech features to stay competitive
Link - Grocery stores are adding high-tech systems to cut lines, ease paying at the register and even lead customers to the products they are seeking.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: U.S. regulators give approval to Chinese firm's purchase of Smithfield
Link - A U.S. government panel approved the purchase of Smithfield Foods, the largest U.S. pork producer, by Chinese firm Shuanghui International, in a move valued at about $7.1 billion and representing the largest purchase of a U.S. company by China.
Financial Times: Old MacDonald had an investment in agriculture
Link - Despite setbacks, the likes of Sweden’s AP2 pension fund and the UK’s Pension Protection Fund have invested in farmland and, unsurprisingly, asset managers such as TIAA-CREF of the US and Insight Investment of the UK are queueing up to feed this demand.
The Guardian: UK urged to back EU biofuels cap
Link - The UK government is being urged to back moves to curb the use of biofuels in Europe amid concerns they are causing hunger in poor countries and contributing to climate change.
Bloomberg: Mexico Tax Proposal Said to Exclude Food, Medicine From VAT
Link - Mexico’s government will present a bill today to boost tax collection without applying a sales levy on food or medicine, according to two people with direct knowledge of the proposal who asked not to be identified before the plan is announced.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Minneapolis Star Tribune: In California, silent water war fought underground as farms and cities compete for groundwater
Link - Throughout the Central Valley — one of the world's most productive agricultural regions — farmers, residents and cities have seen their wells go dry.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: Immigration Reform Falls to the Back of the Line
Link - Congress is likely to postpone consideration of an immigration overhaul until the end of the year, if not longer, even as advocates are preparing for an all-out, urgent push this fall to win their longstanding goal of a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants here illegally.
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